5 Tips for Buying a Home in 2018

If 2018 is your year to purchase a home, hunting land, or a second home in Baudette, Roseau, Warroad, Thief River Falls, International Falls, or anywhere along the Northern MN border you’ve in the right place.

Our team of knowledgeable Realtors is here to help you every step of the way.  We are dedicated to providing our clients with unparalleled service and efficiency by creating a customized real estate experience. This has been our focus since we opened our first office in Baudette, MN.

Zillow recommends these 5 tips for those looking to purchase:

1. Avoid job hopping
Employment history and income are two of the biggest factors lenders look at when evaluating a mortgage application. A new job may be a good career move, but if you plan to buy a home in 2018, know that it can be a red flag to some underwriters — especially if you’re moving to a different industry.

A steady job history and few or no gaps in employment over the past two years are ideal, as it helps lenders more easily forecast your future income.

2. Limit monthly subscription services
Monthly subscription services are certainly convenient, but they can add up. Even if you pay off your credit card every month, you could be dinged for high credit utilization if your credit report is pulled midcycle.

If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, consider keeping your monthly subscription services to a minimum.

3. Build a solid credit history
One of the first things a lender will look at is your credit history. Lenders like borrowers who have a history of paying off debts, like credit cards, on time because it signals that you’re less of a risk and a responsible borrower.

If you don’t have credit, securing a home loan may be significantly more challenging and time-consuming, but not impossible. Records of paying rent and utilities on time, as well as student loan debt or cell phone bills, can help show a potential lender that you have a history of managing monthly payments.

4. Check your credit
Your credit score can have a significant impact on your ability to buy a home. A low credit score can negatively affect how much money a lender is willing to loan you, as well as your interest rate.

If you’re unsure of your credit score, many financial websites offer credit score monitoring, or you can get a full credit report once a year.

5. Avoid large purchases
Avoid taking on large amounts of debt — whether it’s buying a car or planning a large vacation — before buying a house, even if you’re already pre-approved.

Your debt-to-income ratio, or how much money you make compared to how much debt you have, can significantly affect how much money a lender is willing to give you. Keeping debts to a minimum can help make the home-buying process go a lot more smoothly.

Just like proofreading your resume before you apply for a job, cleaning up your financial resume can help improve your chances of buying a home.

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* 5 tips article credit: Zillow

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